Never use a big word when a DIMINUTIVE one will do.

big wordI came across this witty saying the other day and it caught my attention.  Obviously, the intent is to speak an absurdity in order to point out the absurd.

While the point was taken, this statement made me ponder.  How often do people unknowingly do this very thing?  In other words, the very act of what is being done is contrary to the very words that are being spoken.  An example of this would be a child telling another one, “You’re a stupid- name-caller and you shouldn’t call people names” or perhaps, someone screaming, “WE DON’T SCREAM IN THIS HOME!!!!”  A woman teaching men the passage in I Timothy 2:12 within the church or an unfaithful man counseling men on how to love their wives are examples.  All of these actions are counterproductive.

Never use a big word when a diminutive one will do.  This is what we do as Christians when our lifestyle contradicts our very name. Catch that? When I live in a way that contradicts the name I am called, in essence, I am doing the very same thing.  Christian – it mean’s Christ-like.  The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts  11:26).  It wasn’t that they were going around calling themselves Christian. The world looked at their lifestyle and said, ‘Those people act just like Christ.’  In light of all of this it made me think.  The word “Christian” is thrown around and misused to the point that no one understands its meaning.  What if the majority of Americans didn’t call themselves Christian?  What if people didn’t associate the word Christian with someone who just goes to church on Sunday or “claims” to know God?

What if you were only called a “Christian” if you only acted like Christ?  What if a person was only known as a Christian that only did the things Christ did?  Would I then be called a Christian?  He is my example and if my lifestyle does not reflect the same lifestyle that Christ lived then I should not be called a Christian.  Otherwise, there is a contradiction.   So I search my heart and ask God to reveal His truth to me.  Am I striving?  That is certainly my heart’s desire. I must never forget that people are watching. Am I reaching forth toward the goal?  Again, that is my desire. To be like Him is the goal and He alone is worthy. Is my light shining before men? Are others seeing my good works so that God gets glory (Matthew 5:16)? Am I living a consistent Christian life? Because otherwise why call myself Christian when the word hypocrite will do?

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”  Luke 6:46

It’s all about me!

all about meHave you ever met that person? You know, the one who thinks the whole world revolves around them. Everything is about them. If you hurting, they are in more pain. If you have a praise, they have a bigger praise. If you have a story to tell, they have a better story. It’s all about them!

Today, I’m going to be that person. I’m not going to worry about you, or think about others. It is all about me…that is when it comes to sin, confession, and repentance.

Jesus told a parable in Luke 18 about two men. One was a Pharisee and the other a publican. Both went to the temple to pray. When it came to sin, the Pharisee was concerned with others. He contumeliously stood and prayed, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” But the publican was only thinking of self. He wasn’t concerned with the Pharisee. I want to be like him. His prayer was, “God be merciful TO ME a sinner,” speaking of himself as if he were the only sinner in the world.

David had this same attitude in Psalm 51.

…wash me

…cleanse me

…my sin

…my transgressions

…purge me

…create in me

…cast me not

…restore unto me

…uphold me

He is a little self-focused, wouldn’t you say? But, isn’t that exactly how we should be when there is sin in our lives. And unfortunately, that is every single day for me.

Oh, but let’s not end here. For King David didn’t. After he confessed his sin before God and a right spirit was restored within him, he then continued ….

“…Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee,” Psalm 51:13.

When we are right before God, our hearts desire is to teach others. Why? Because we are filled with such love from God’s mercy and forgiveness that we greatly desire for others to experience the same.

Probably the most misquoted verse in all of scripture is Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” But if people would just continue to read the Bible they would see that it never commands us to not judge others, only to not judge hypocritically.

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye,” Matthew 7:5.

When we “first” cast out the beam from our eye “then” we can see clearly to cast out the mote from our brother’s eye. For in truth, if we love our brother and our heart is right, we will want to do just that.

So maybe, it isn’t all about me

It just starts with me!